Controversial landlord Shao Tsi Hsu forcibly ejected a television news team from one of his apartment properties in Hyattsville yesterday as a reporter tried to question him about allegedly unsanitary conditions in the building.
Penny Mickelbury of WJLA-TV (Channel 7) said Hsu struck her twice on the right forearm after she had retreated from the property at 4304 Emerson St.
She said her skin was neither bruised or broken by the blows. "It was not a full force attack . . . but it hurt," she said.
Film footage of the incident was aired on the evening news yesterday by Channel 7, showing Hsu brandishing a three-to-four foot-long metal rod and thrusting it toward Mickelbury and the two members of her camera crew.
"You get out of here. This is my property," said Hsu.
"Don't touch me with the stick," shouted Mickelbury repeatedly as Hsu moved in on her.
Hsu, a University of Maryland engineering professor who has parlayed his properties into a million dollar business, could not be reached for comment yesterday, but his attorney, Elkanah J. Burns, said Hsu "denies hitting Penny Mickelbury."
Hsu's encounter with the Chanel 7 crew was his second in less than two weeks with news gatherers. On Aug. 20, he grabbed at the camera of Washington Post photographer Joel Richardson and swung at him with a rod, apparently the same one he used in yesterday's incident.
The incidents come amid renewed complaints by tenants in some of Hsu's numerous properties in the District of Columbia and Prince George's County that he has failed to repair damage and correct housing violations.
The complaints brought reporters and photographers to some of the properties where Hsu ordered them away and brandished the metal rod.
Meanwhile, D.C. police have expanded an investigation of Hsu and his properties after a Washington Post article in yesterday's District Weekly referred to three properties in Southwest Washington in which Hsu has had an interest.
Though his exact relationship in the past is cloudy, he is now listed as a mortgage holder of an apartment building at 3281 15th Pl. SE and trustee on the deed of trust on two other nearby buildings at 3275 and 3287 15th Pl. -- all properties that have several housing code violations, according to city housing officials.
A police official assigned to investigate the case said that "Hsu has filed papers in (D.C. Superior) court indicating his assets. Whatever income he's getting from those 15th Place SE properties is not listed in the court papers."
Hsu was convicted of perjury in 1976 in connection with his testimony at a civil trial in which he denied receiving a court order requiring him to make repairs at an apartment building he owned in Southeast Washington.
That conviction was overturned last year, however, by the D.C. Court of Appeals. The court held that Hsu, who had represented himself at the perjury trial, was not fully informed of the consequences of his decision to waive his right to an attorney.
The U.S. Attorney's Office has decided to retry Hsu on the perjury charge, this time with a lawyer at his side. The trial is scheduled for Dec. 17.
Meanwhile, tenants in complexes Hsu is associated with continue to complain of leaking plumbing and broken fixtures. on the perjury charge, this time with a lawyer at his side. The trial is scheduled for Dec. 17.
Meanwhile, tenants in complexes Hsu is associated with continue to complain of leaking plumbing and broken fixtures.